The 2020 Mexican Grand Prix Formula 1 auto race will be postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced today, calling the health crisis a force majeure.
Those who have already purchased their tickets for the race — 60% had already been sold — will be reimbursed or can elect to use them next year at the event’s home track, the Hermanos Rodríguez speedway in Mexico City. Last year’s Grand Prix drew 345,694 fans.
The race, which was first held in 1962, is sanctioned by the International Automobile Association and is an official Formula 1 event.
Formula 1 has decided to eliminate the entire Americas tour. Canada was the first to announce that it would not hold a race this year, followed by Mexico, the United States and Brazil.
In a statement, Formula 1 said the decision was “due to the fluid nature of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, local restrictions and the importance of keeping communities and our colleagues safe.”
Race organizers had considered holding the Grand Prix without fans in attendance but felt it wouldn’t be fair to racing aficionados.
Drivers are disappointed but seem to be taking the news in stride. Mexican driver Sergio “Checo” Pérez posted a message to social media when he heard the news.
“It hurts for the fans, for the organization and for my whole country, because it is always a great opportunity to show how great we are. I know they support me with every lap I take and I hope I can give them a lot of satisfaction the rest of the year,” Pérez said. “This is also an example of how complicated the pandemic situation in Mexico is,” he added, while reminding people to follow coronavirus protocols.
In return, Formula 1 added three races to its European racing calendar in Germany, Portugal and Italy.